3 Local Health Fanatics Share Their Secrets
These inspiring “healthistas” break down everything from diet to sleep to exercise.
Sonya Weigle. Photo by Gene Smirnov.
A mompreneur, 47-year old Sonya Weigle juggles C-suite life with her home life in Wayne, where she lives with her husband and three children. Weigle is currently the chief strategy officer for E. Smith Legacy Holdings, the commercial real estate company chaired by NFL Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith.
Food philosophy: No carbs, sugar, grains or dairy. No cans or boxes, either. When she turned 40, Weigle adopted a fresh-foods-only policy. “My job and the early stages of perimenopause were wreaking havoc on my body,” she says. “I needed a set of changes so I could curate my life.” In just 12 weeks, Weigle lost 25 pounds.
Sleep hygiene: Up at 5:30 a.m., asleep by 10 p.m. Weigle’s insomnia- fighting tools include a sleep headband with ear buds that play white noise and an acupressure mat that lies on top of her mattress. “Both are profoundly relaxing—and neither bother my husband.”
Exercise regimen: Weigle does Pilates three times a week at Lifetime Athletic in King of Prussia. She plays tennis when she can, and she takes long walks with her German Shepard.
Inner peace: “Every day starts with a prayer, and I pray throughout the day,” says Weigle, who also worked with Wendy Merron at the Center of Success in Wayne. “I learned profoundly powerful tools about the power of positivity.” But she finds the most peace at home. “Raw happiness with my husband and kids brings me the most satisfaction. They are my joy.”
Holistic health practices: To rebalance her hormones, increase energy levels and decrease insomnia, Weigle turned to naturopath Lynn Feinman. “She taught me that food is medicine and changed my mindset around perimenopause. It’s not a disease. You can go through it with grace if you manage it naturally.” Weigle also gets regular acupuncture treatments from Dory Ellen Fish in Bryn Mawr.
Oludare Odumosu, P.h.D. Photo by Gene Smirnov.
Oludare Odumosu, Ph.D.
A biochemist who also has master’s degrees in epidemiology and biostatistics, 34-year-old Oludare Odumosu is the chief scientific officer and executive vice president of the pharmaceutical division of Plymouth Meeting’s Ilera Healthcare, one of the only companies in Pennsylvania licensed to grow, produce and dispense medical marijuana.
Food philosophy: Frequency, quantity and quality are keys. “I eat everything I want, but I do so in moderation. Also, I eat every two to three hours. If you wait to eat until you’re hungry, your body has already passed several states of metabolism.”
Sleep hygiene: Awake by 5:30 a.m., asleep by 12:30 a.m. “But I take 20-minute micro-naps during the day. I started doing it in grad school, and I’m still a big believer in it.”
Exercise regimen: Odumosu exercises two to three times a week. “And I’m a runner. It started as a challenge and became a necessity.” To date, Odumosu has completed five half-marathons and one full marathon. Between runs, he uses mobile apps to do core work, push-ups and other floor exercises.
Inner peace: “I’m a Christian, and I pray for 10 to 30 minutes every day.” Odumosu also “lives with intention,” focusing his energy on what fills him with joy and a sense of purpose. “I also embrace positivity. If I’m upset with you, I’ll tell you. If I say I’m sorry, I mean it. I have a small brain. There isn’t room for that bad stuff.”
Holistic remedy: Medical marijuana. Odumosu first tried it in graduate school. “I was defending my thesis, and I hadn’t slept for 48 hours. A doctor prescribed Ambien, and I started hallucinating in a bad way. On day three, I went to a [California] dispensary, rolled a joint, took two hits and slept for eight hours. When I awoke, my body felt so nourished. Now I use marijuana when I’m having trouble sleeping.”
Jenna Stavros. Photo by Gene Smirnov.
By day, 34-year-old Jenna Stavros works a fast-paced, high-stress job as a paralegal in one of Conshohocken’s top law firms. At home in Exton, she pursues her passions for vegetarian cooking, exercise, essential oils and finding her Zen.
Food philosophy: Stavros is an ardent vegetarian, which requires discipline and education. “I learned to replace the protein with things like tofu, beans, chick pea nuggets, hummus and peanut butter, so I’m not eating carb after carb,” she says. To keep herself (and her meat-eating boyfriend) happy, Stavros became an avid home cook. “I read cookbooks, delved into Instagram and sat on Pinterest to learn about spices
and herbs so dishes have interesting flavors.”
Sleep hygiene: Sleep isn’t Stavros’ strong suit. She puts herself into bed by 10 p.m., but it can take her more than an hour to fall asleep. She’s found some insomnia relief from essential oils, which she applies to her spine, her wrists and the bottoms of her feet. She also drops them into a diffuser.
Exercise regimen: Stavros works out five days a week, alternating between Exton’s CycleBar and ACAC Fitness & Wellness Center in West Chester. She also dabbles in hot yoga. “I never thought it’d be my thing, but I love it. I get so focused on the yoga that I don’t think about everything else going on in my life.”
Inner peace: Meditation is a must. She started with the book Meditation For Dummies but has since upgraded to mobile apps. “I have a very stressful job and an active mind. Meditation allows me to get clear, focus and be grateful instead of constantly worrying.”
Holistic health practices: Eighteen months ago, Stavros turned to Exton chiropractor Thomas DeVries for help with neck pain. “I was skeptical, or at least hesitant. But the neck pain went away. Finally, I can get back to living my life,” she says.